Southland Casino in West Memphis Ups Hiring Bonus to $2K

Southland Casino in West Memphis Ups Hiring Bonus to $2K

Looking to fill job openings, Southland Casino Racing in Arkansas has boosted its hiring bonus to $2,000.

Southland Casino Racing
Southland Casino Racing
A dog sprints down the track in a race at Southland Casino Racing in West Memphis, Arkansas. Dog racing is slated to end at the resort next year. (Image: Memphis Flyer)

Last month, the casino and dog track in West Memphis announced a $1,000 signing bonus for certain jobs. Employment interviews were scheduled on Thursdays through Sept. 2. 

The bonus has been upped to $2,000, and the on-site interviews are extended through Nov. 11, according to Southland’s website. The interviews are being conducted in the Kennel Club at the resort on Thursdays from 11 am to 3 pm.

In addition to a higher bonus for some jobs, the resort is paying non-tipped employees $15 an hour. Some qualified applicants also will receive on-the-spot job offers.

Employment interviews are being conducted to fill all jobs on the property, including cooks, dealers, cage cashiers, and slot tech supervisors. Information about job openings is available on the Southland website.

Turnaround Could Be Coming

Southland is across the Mississippi River from the larger Memphis, Tenn., metropolitan area. Because Tennessee does not have commercial casinos, the Memphis market is considered important to Southland.

Though Southland experienced a decline in casino wins over the summer, a turnaround is expected with the recent reopening of a bridge connecting the two states.

In May, the closure of the Interstate 40 bridge hampered traffic flow between Memphis and West Memphis. A fracture in a primary support beam on the bridge caused the six-lane span over the Mississippi River to close for repairs.

The bridge was reopened on July 31 to eastbound traffic. On Aug. 2, the westbound lanes into West Memphis were reopened.

Expansion Mode 

As it extends its current hiring period, Southland is in the midst of a $250 million expansion that will add a 20-story, 300-room hotel to the site. The expansion, which will include a new gaming complex, is expected to be completed in 2022.

The greyhound track at Southland is scheduled to cease operations at the end of 2022. That will leave Iowa and West Virginia as the only states with legal dog racing. If the dog track in Iowa also closes next year as expected, West Virginia will be the only state with legal dog racing.

Another of Arkansas’ three commercial casinos, Oaklawn Casino Racing Resort, recently went on a hiring spree with the unveiling of its $100 million expansion.

In April, the historic horse track and casino in Hot Springs opened an eight-story, 198-room hotel that includes some rooms overlooking the track.

Hot Springs is about an hour southwest of centrally located Little Rock, the capital city.

Saracen Credit Rating Upgraded

In Pine Bluff, Saracen Casino Resort has embarked on a construction project to add a 300-room hotel with a conference center and spa. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2021, according to the Arkansas Money and Politics website. 

Pine Bluff is about 45 minutes south of Little Rock.

As the expansion occurs, S&P Global has raised its issuer-credit rating on Saracen to B- from CCC, according to an Aug. 31 report from the credit rating agency.

“Despite headwinds associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, which considerably delayed the casino’s opening to late October 2020 from June 2020, Saracen’s operating performance has ramped up quickly since its opening in early fiscal 2021,” the report states.

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